“Benders”: Beer League Hockey Comes to TV

Patrick Harbron

By Warren Tabachnick


Some might think beer league hockey is a joke. Which is exactly what TV’s IFC network is counting on with “Benders,” its new comedy series.

Every recreational hockey player will relate to more than one of the characters featured on the show, and the madcap antics will have you rolling on the floor. The show puts the beer in beer league hockey and true to its word, IFC’s “Benders” is definitely Always On Slightly Off.

Photo: Patrick Harbron

“Benders” follows a team of friends bonded by an irrational obsession with their rec ice hockey team, The Chubbys. Previously announced lead cast members include Lindsey Broad (The Office, 21 Jump Street); Chris Distefano (“Girl Code,” “The Half Hour”); Mark Gessner (“Orange is the New Black,” “The Blacklist”); Ruy Iskandar (“Gotham,” “The Blacklist”); and Andrew Schulz (“Guy Code,” co-creator & host of the “Brilliant Idiots” podcast).


Photo: Patrick Harbron

The guest cast of “Benders” includes a group of well-known comedians and actors. Joining the series is Steve Schirripa (“The Sopranos”); Jim Norton (“Louie,” “Inside Amy Schumer”); Godfrey (“Louie,” “30 Rock”); Robert Kelly (“Louie,” “Opie & Anthony”); Mark Margolis (“Breaking Bad,” “Californication”); Lenny Venito (“The Neighbors,” “Men in Black 3”); and “Orange is the New Black”’s Barbara Rosenblat and Joel Marsh Garland. Additionally, comedian Jim Breuer (“SNL,” “Half Baked”) makes a cameo appearance as himself.

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